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The Trent Building

Lord Trent was a philanthropist and our greatest benefactor — his donations of land and money played a fundamental role in establishing The University of Nottingham.

The Trent Building, with its distinctive tower, still dominates The University of Nottingham’s University Park Campus.

Lord Trent — a life remembered

Jesse Boot was born over the family herbalist shop in Nottingham in 1850. With his father dying, Jesse left school at 13 to help his mother run the family business.

As an inherent businessman, Jesse capitalised on the need to sell affordable medicines to the poor by buying items in bulk, undercutting his rivals and passing the savings on to customers. This proved a great success and during his next 40 years, an empire was founded – the now, globally recognised retailer, Boots.

In 1920, due to ill health, he sold the business to the American United Drug Company, leaving Jesse to focus on philanthropic work in and around Nottingham.

He gave The University of Nottingham the land on which it is built and £100,000 to help build the Trent Building. A £50,000 endowment fund was used to create Highfields Park, providing a place of recreation for the people of Nottingham. Other lasting reminders of his generosity include the Albert Hall and the Victoria Embankment War Memorial in Nottingham.

Jesse’s hard work and success was recognised in 1909, when he was knighted and in 1929 where he was elevated to the peerage of Lord Trent of Nottingham.

Lord Trent died in 1931, aged 81.

The Trent Building in The University of Nottingham Ningbo China

The University of Nottingham Ningbo China has its own version of The University of Nottingham's iconic Trent Building, complete with clock tower. We would like to pay tribute to Lord Trent, by renaming our landmark building in his honour.

Posted on 22 December 2016